Find Your Camping Tribe

Camping at Legion State Park in Louisville, MS

As soon as our family bought our pop up camper, I joined a group on Facebook for pop up camper owners.  The camping community can be very inclusive.  But, camping can be a lonely interest when you don't have friends that share your interest in camping.  None of my tribe of friends at home like to camp.  In fact, they would admit that they like not camping.  And that is okay.  It isn't for everyone, but it is for our family.

My husband and I had camped separately before we ever met.  We did some camping out west with family earlier in our marriage.  It was not an activity that we had done much of as adults.  When we bought our Nissan Pathfinder with a towing package, we immediately started talking about camping.  We settled on a pop up camper a year later.

2017 was the year of projects for Peggy Sue.  The online camping community that I joined and new friends have been a constant support system along the way.  From questions about leaky roofs to advice about where is the best place to purchase a new canvas, we needed someone when seeking advice and knowledge.  There is a big learning curve for camping.  Seeking out a wider community along the way has been reassuring and beneficial.  Don't feel like you have to do it alone if you don't know anyone that shares your love for the great outdoors.

Our camping tribe isn't just about fielding questions.  It's about shared holidays, afternoon walks, children playing and sunny afternoon's doing nothing.  We share a common interest with our friends about campgrounds, hikes, meals, and gear.  I'm an extrovert at heart and having a group to belong to is important to me.  It just makes camping more fun!

During our last camping trip of the year, I knew that I had found my tribe.  We were waiting for a group of late campers to check out of our reserved spot.  I was feeling like we would never get set up.

Our camping tribe at Thanksgiving!  These people are the best!  

Our canvas was beyond shot by this last trip of the year!  We were scrambling to set up and fighting with a torn canvas.  My friend Christy pulled out her camping themed duct tape and helped up bandage her all up.  And with all five grown-ups out there pitching in until we got it all worked out, we had Peggy Sue set up.  Bryan had helped me to get our camper perfectly level.  And Josh was there patiently helping every step of the way.  It was the best trip of the year!

How will know when you have found your camping tribe?  These are people that enjoy the same kinds of camping activities and locations as you do.  Trip planning should be effortless and fun.   Your tribe will help you when you are in a bind - duct tape in hand.  They give advice without judgment.  I feel privileged to have such sweet friends to share our camping journey with because they make life on the road so much better.

And what if you don't know others that camp?  Maybe you are wondering how to even meet others that camp or would like to camp.  Meet up is an online site to match people of similar interest for doing things together.  Or, join an online camping group.  RVFTA is one that I belong to on Facebook.  This is a great way to learn about camping through social media.  You may even meet a friend or two that is local to your area for camping. 

Women campers might like Sisters on the Fly.  This outdoor adventure group for women is often talked about on the Girl Camper Podcast that I listen to.  There are so many ways to make new friends through camping and find your tribe.  Take advantage of these groups and meet some new people to enjoy your love of the great outdoors.

Christy and I after a float trip in Alabama (after I thought I saw a snake!)  Best story ever!
Camping has really helped me to grow as a person, make new friends and have new experiences.  It has been a way to get together with my family.  My cousins joined us on a camping trip in November last year.  We are camping with more cousins in May of this year.  And, we have a big trip that will involve camping out west in July.

Our rather large and extended camping tribe is a lot of fun.  Who is part of your tribe?  Or are you still building your tribe of campers?  I'd love to hear your experiences as a camper.  Feel free to email or comment to share your thoughts and experiences as a camper.  As always...

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